Government confirms end of 1c and 2c coins

Central Bank welcomes decision and will assume responsibility for changeover

The Government has today decided to withdraw 1c and 2c coins from circulation, with prices being rounded up or down as appropriate. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Government has today decided to withdraw 1c and 2c coins from circulation, with prices being rounded up or down as appropriate. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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The Government has agreed to the rounding of prices involving 1c and 2c coins to the nearest 5c, which would lead to the withdrawal of the coins from circulation.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan advised the cabinet to support the move after a successful trial in Co Wexford in 2013.

The Central Bank has welcomed the decision and will now assume responsibility for the changeover.

Details of how the rounding project will be implemented have yet to be finalised, but it is anticipated that it will be rolled out in the next few months.

In a statement, the Central Bank said the key features of rounding are:

- Rounding will be conducted on a voluntary basis;

- 1c and 2c coins will remain legal tender;

- Rounding will apply only to cash payments;

- The total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest 5c.

The statement said: “The Central Bank will engage with industry bodies and other stakeholders in advance of rollout to ensure that they are fully prepared for it.

“The Central Bank will also ensure that the public and consumers are well informed.”

Rounding will only apply to cash transactions and not to credit card, electronic payments or cheque payments.

It will apply to the total transaction bill and not to individual goods.

Bills will be rounded up or down as follows:

- A transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20;

- A transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25;

- A transaction costing €10.26 or €10.27 would be rounded to €10.25;

- A transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30.

Two individual items priced at €10.99 and €3.49 respectively would remain at these prices, though the total bill (€14.48) would be rounded up to €14.50.

Three individual items priced at €2.99, €4.49 and €8.17 respectively would remain at these prices, though the total bill (€15.61) would be rounded down to €15.60.

As at June 12th, 2015, 1,096,853,216 2c coins have been issued into circulation in the State, amounting to €21,937,064.32.

At the same time, 1,384,491,236 1c coins have been issued into circulation in the State, amounting to €13,844,912.36.

A 1c coin costs 1.65c to produce, while a 2c coin costs 1.94c.

Six EU member states have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy. The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Belgium have all implemented this system.

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